Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Just watch out he\u2019s not leaving frostbite. With temperatures tumbling down into the single digits this week, the Ridgefield Police Department and the town\u2019s Office of Emergency Management have both put out winter weather advisories on how to stay safe (and warm) through cold winter days. In heavy snow The best way to stay safe during storms or very cold weather? Stay put in doors. \u201cDrive only if it is absolutely necessary,\u201d said Emergency Management Director Dick Aarons. \u201cIf you must drive: travel in the day; don\u2019t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.\u201d Police had similar advice for motorists driving in the snow. \u201cLeave plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you,\u201d the department said in a post on their Facebook page. \u201cAccelerate and decelerate slowly, [and] avoid sudden stops or maneuvers.\u201d Keeping your gas tank full is also advised. Traveling in a storm isn\u2019t the only risk, however. Shoveling snow can also increase the risk of a heart attack, Aarons said, a major cause of death in the winter. \u201cUse caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads,\u201d he added. Falling temperatures People should also be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia and frostbite, both caused by exposure to the elements. \u201cIf you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical attention,\u201d\u00a0 Aarons said. Those include: A white or grayish-yellow skin area Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy Numbness In hypothermia, the body becomes abnormally cold, due to the its inability to replace the heat it loses to the elements. \u201cWhen exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it\u2019s produced,\u201d Aarons explained. \u201cLengthy exposures will eventually use up your body\u2019s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.\u201d In adults, the symptoms are shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. For kids, be on the lookout for bright red, cold skin, and very low energy. The winter cold can also affect pets, the Ridgefield Police Department noted in a post on its Facebook page. \u201cAlthough your dog is likely to be having a great time outdoors, take frequent indoor breaks for water and warming and don\u2019t ever stay out too long,\u201d said the Dec. 20 post. \u201cIf you\u2019re walking or playing in unfamiliar areas, keep your dog close. It\u2019s easy for him to venture onto unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes. These may be covered in snow and not easily visible.\u201d Silent killer One other wintertime killer Aarons said residents should watch out for is the threat of fire and smoke inhalation from gas furnaces and \u201calternative energy sources\u201d \u2014 generators, grills, camp stoves, and any other devices which burn propane, natural gas, or charcoal. None of those should be used indoors, including in a basement or garage, Aarons said. \u201cEach year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide\u00a0poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than\u00a04,000 hospitalizations,\u201d he added. \u201cCarbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months.\u201d Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and can be lethal to anyone, the Center for Disease Control\u2019s website notes. The symptoms of CO poisoning are often described as \u201cflu-like,\u201d and include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Aarons said he recommends installing carbon monoxide alarms on every level of a home in central locations, which can give some early warning if CO levels are increasing in a home. \u201cIf the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door,\u201d he said.